Running head: RIORDAN MANUFACTURING INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Riordan Manufacturing Information Systems
Place Name here
University of Phoenix
Riordan Manufacturing Information Systems
To maintain and exceed Riordan Manufacturing's elite status in its trademark business the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Michael Riordan, has put into action the request for review and analysis of all company's sites ( San Jose, California, Albany, Georgia, Pontiac, Michigan, and Hangzhou, China) existing business systems and sub-subsystems. This includes software used in the Human Resources, Legal, Finance & Accounting, and network infrastructure applications. This paper will provide suggestions for improvements and estimated budgets for hardware and software related enhancements. This CEO mandated service request will ultimately lead to improvements on all facets of current business systems and sub-systems and in turn consolidate the company's business operation.
Riordan Manufacturing is looking to improve upon their inventory manufacturing process through system changes. Through the proposed specific changes described herein with their current computer infrastructure Riordan Manufacturing will become more efficient. Based on the investigation and discovery of the current business processes there are five specific areas identified for improvement. The areas identified are manual entry of orders, inventory, and shipments, outdated client computers, outdated servers, inadequate cabling, and supporting equipment. The five enhancements will digitalize the inventory process; provide more efficient computer systems, more efficient virtualized servers, increased network throughput, and reduced paper consumption.
The research conducted to find the best inventory manufacturing solution and meet the needs of Riordan Manufacturing was a two-part process. A complete investigatory audit and network analysis compiled the current hardware and software configurations. We then conducted interviews with the employees who have an integral role in the manufacturing process to obtain feedback in regard to the current system process and the expectations of the new system process. The feedback obtained will make sure we are meeting the employee's needs as well as management ensuring an effective outcome proving efficient and accepted by all involved.
Finance and Accounting Systems
Back when Riordan Manufacturing first implemented the accounting and finance system currently in place it fared well. However, times change, and the business continues to grow. The company grows but the accounting and finance system remains mediocre at best. Many problems should be addressed when matter comes to these systems. They include the general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, order entry, procurements, sales, and purchasing history.
Start by standardizing equipment at each location. Using the same equipment throughout Riordan Manufacturing will help keep uniformity and ease maintenance pains. With the equipment, upgrade a fully integrated backup device for storing important files needs to be implemented. Standardized equipment also ensures software packages remain compatible throughout the network. Considering the diversity of people who work for Riordan language barriers must be figured into the system because two different types of currency are in use. So a converter and money exchange rate system is also needed in the San Jose and China entities.
Human Resources and Legal Systems
In 1992, the HRIS system was installed, which combines the HR and financial systems of Riordan, to keep track of personal information, pay rate, which department the employee worked, and accrued vacation hours. Training records, and Resume's and applications to the company for employment, are stored on a spreadsheet, workers compensation is outsourced to a third party vendor. All employee files are kept by management; this includes FMLA status because there is no centralized information database, which information could be kept for access. Riordan needs a business system that will separate, HR from Financial, and store employee records in a database instead of on a spreadsheet.
Legal information is not kept stored in a database but is acted upon by Lowell Bradford, using his personal experience; all other legal needs are outsourced to Litteral & Finkel, the law firm retained by Riordan Manufacturing. If legal matters arise, legal fees are charged against the retainer. If the amount of the month's legal fees exceeds the retainer, excess charges are billed to Riordan Manufacturing at the end of the month. Unused retainer amounts are not carried forward (Riordan, 2006).
Sales and Marketing systems and sub-systems
Riordan's sales and marketing departments make little use of information technology; many tasks are still recorded with paper and pencil. An effort has been made to consolidate information although it is slow moving forward. Riordan has a system to track historical sales, in the past; most sales data was recorded using paper and pencil (Riordan, 2004). They then moved to electronic means to capture the data they needed, which includes eight Dell Optiplex workstations, running Windows 2000 with 512mb of ram and sixty gigabyte hard drives, in the San Jose location, which is the Corporate Headquarters. The Hangzhou China location also has eight Dell Optiplex work stations with the same configuration that San Jose has, there is no need for this configuration at the Georgia, or Michigan location as there is no sales or finance department.
Riordan has a sales database that keeps records on 15 to 20 major customers, and 12 minor customers. Members of the sales team are responsible for keeping track of customer records. Methods vary from paper and pencil, to sales management software known as ACT, to a hybrid of the two. The marketing department is supported by the finance department in maintaining profit and loss statements. All information within the sales and marketing department is being rolled into a customer relations management database, paper documents are scanned manually while some information is entered electronically.
Riordan Manufacturing's operation department is a complicated process that needs to be simplified into two parts. The first part is the physical component of production, inventory and supply chain. Second is the executive management component of project process and strategic planning. Each plays key parts in the company's performance. The physical aspects involve procuring the materials needed and monitoring their use through to the finished product shipment. The executive management phase over sees the entire operation and ensures that it is performed efficiently. The production department is responsible for Research and Development, flow-control, and product. These processes are carried out at the main headquarters in San Jose. At this location the following roles are performed: developing proof of concept models, peer review of model, and creating the final mold that will be sent to manufacturing. Presently there are no set rules that are adhered to during this process. The problems that Riordan has incurred are incompatible software, inadequate hardware, lack of participation from user groups, and nonexistent software to aid in the management of project or product.
The existing systems for the Riordan Manufacturing the San Jose CA location, which is Corporate Headquarters, 35 Dell Optiplex work stations 2.6 GHz Processor, 512 MB Ram, 60 GB Hard drives, Windows 2000, and Office 2000. The Albany GA Location, Eight Compaq Presario workstations Pentium 1 Processor 233 MHz, 64 MB Ram, Seven Compaq Presario workstations, Pentium 2 Processor 450 MHz, 128 MB Ram, Five Compaq Presario workstations, Pentium 3 Processor 600 MHz, 256 MB Ram, with an HP LaserJet V network printer. The Pontiac MI Location, 15 Compaq workstations, 486 MHz Processor, 32 MB Ram, 15 Compaq Presario workstations, Pentium 1 Processor 233 MHz, 64 MB Ram, 15 Compaq Presario workstations, Pentium 2 Processor 450 MHz, 128 MB Ram, A Hp LaserJet IV and Hp LaserJet V both networked. The Hangzhou China Location, has Forty Dell Optiplex Workstations, with the same Operating system and software configuration as the San Jose cooperate headquarters location, Hangzhou also has eight networked Hp LaserJet V Printers.
Finance and Accounting Recommendation
Riordan Manufacturing needs an accounting and finance system based on the common ground. Start by moving all of Riordan Manufacturing entities on the same page with a bar code system. The bar code system is going to accomplish two things. Once the bar code system is the identifier and two the system tells corporate who, what, when, where, why, and how. Second Riordan needs to set up an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system. The EDI system is the set protocols when conducting electronic business over computer networks (Linktionary, 2010). Once in place the EDI system defines the electronic exchange of business related data. This includes purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices, between one organization, or another (Linktionary, 2010). Third new financial software needs to be implemented in San Jose, Albany, Pontiac, and Hangzhou branches.
To ensure a smooth move forward from the old to the new system an accounting and finance representative from corporate. With the representative in place, this should speed the processing of financial and accounting data. In addition, the representative ensures fewer data errors while employees go through the transition. Over the long haul, the new financial software will cut cost and save time. Accounting and finance personnel no longer have to sift through data that in turn has the possibility to be lost or placed in the wrong places.
Most errors come from employee interaction with a network. Problems or errors occur because employees lack training in the system. This is why it is important to implement a standardized user-friendly support system. An automated system may work best for this implementation. The automated system would have to accommodate the multilingual diversity among the branches of Riordan Manufacturing to guarantee the understandability of the information. Employees would still have the option to contact live support personnel in case the system does not fully eliminate the employee's needs.
For Riordan and all entities upwards of $200,000 - $280,000 is expected for Microsoft Dynamics GP- Enterprise. Microsoft Dynamics offers all of the operations Riordan Manufacturing requires. This software defines preferred currency, Establishes accounting periods based on fiscal and business cycle, and manages bank accounts and cash. The Automated processes, include check-writing, bank statement reconciliation, and sorts charts of accounts the way employees need to use them (Microsoft, 2010).
Microsoft Office Professional, $1100 per license, is the all-in-one document generator. Everything from memos to spreadsheet is covered in the software suite. Microsoft Office has a large library of labels, letterheads, publication material, and word processing documentation formats to accommodate all of Riordan needs.
Period for installation for all entities of Riordan is four to six months for a total cost of $230,000 for United States based entities. An additional $50,000 for the China branch is required to format the business solution to fit international and global laws. That price includes installation and training program as well.
Human Resource Recommendations
Riordan Manufacturing's HR department has some old processes that need to be updated. They have individual employee files being kept by the employee's direct manager. Which there manager also keep track of FMLA absences and ADA requests. For the employee's job analysis, salary surveys, and individual compensation compensation manager stores all that information in an Excel spreadsheet. To top it off any complaints, grievances, harassment complaints are stored in a locked file in the Employee relations specialists' office.
Riordan Manufacturing will need to purchase two additional servers at each of its four locations. One machine will have Windows 2008 installed on it. The other will have the latest version of RHEL. The Windows Server 2008 server will be used to create a central repository for HR and any other group in Riordan Manufacturing.
The Windows server will be used as central repository for each location. The server file structure will start with all top level department; example HR will have its own folder that only members of that department can access. In that folder there will be another set of folders for each group in an HR related role. Each folder will be locked down to only the people who should have access to that folder. For the HR department this will entail a recruitment folder to store resumes and open positions allowing the group to share resources more effectively. Resumes can be scanned into the folder and saved for as long as needed by state laws.
The Linux sever will have an SQL database that stores all other information. All information relating to an employee such as personal information, pay, tax exemptions, hire date, seniority, organization info and vacation will be stored in the SQL database. Each employee will be assigned an employee identification number. This will allow employees to be moved around to managers as they are hired or change positions in the company. A GUI front end will be developed for management and trainers to update changes such as pay increases, training employees have taken, and FMLA and ADA tracking. Employee relations will also be able to add any complaints, grievances, harassment complaints only accessible by authorized personnel.
Break down of costs to implement this system
â€¢ Dell PowerEdge R710 with Windows Server 2008 $3000 x 4
â€¢ Dell PowerEdge R710 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 $2600 x 4
â€¢ MySQL $600 x 4
â€¢ Total cost $24800
Accounting and Finance Recommendations
The Sales Database will be tied into the Accounting and Finance system so that it is centralized and easily accessible to both the Marketing department and Accounting and Finance departments. The customer records stored by each individual employee will be transferred to a central server that has already been specified in the HR recommendation, further strengthening the need for said servers. To transfer files to the server I recommend the Ricoh IS330DC. The network capabilities and scanning software will allow an employee to scan a file directly to a network share, which adds redundancy, and security. The Ricoh will cost $2,300.
To improve the processes in the Operation department and reduce the amount of manual steps they go through while receiving raw materials, inventorying raw materials and the shipping of products we recommend the Riordan implement Microsoft Dynamics GP. Dynamics GP will automate and centralize all the paper handling that takes place with the current method. The software allows the inventory to be recorded and itemized as it comes in. The material will be measured in weight so the system can track how much material was used just by the weight reduction at the end of the day. The inventory clerk will no longer need to enter raw material usage from a paper form. Once the system is implemented, it would allow a reduction in at least one full time employee at each site. So if the average salary for an inventory clerk was $30,000 a year plus benefits. The product will start paying for itself over the next few years. As the system is already being implemented in the Accounting and Finance department the price is already factored into Riordan's system costs.
The assimilation of the proposed solutions presented within this paper will provide Riordan Manufacturing for the comprehensive and synergistic management of the Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, Legal, and Network Infrastructure departments of Riordan Manufacturing. Streamlining the discussed processes will enable Riordan Manufacturing to achieve its goals and go beyond its elite status in the corporate world.
With major and minor customers, and a government contract Riordan's existing method of tracking sales and marketing data is becoming very demanding. This lack of synergy with other departments is causing the company to fall short of achieving their goals and is certainly not a manageable solution. Therefore, Riordan's sales and marketing departments have shifted its focused to stay current with today's technology, using many tools it has to offer. The sales, marketing, and finance departments systems and sub-systems will be benefiting from the new focus of the company. In the process, new ideas and recommendations will be implemented and fine-tuned.
The information technology changes described will spark an increase in customer satisfaction and will assist sales associates to increase sales and promote future growth. Marketing will now be able to leverage sales data in a single, accessible, database, facilitating the communication, and forecasting of company goals. This will result in consistency and cost efficiency not achieved by the system and sub-systems currently in place. Streamlining the discussed processes and recommendations will enable Riordan Manufacturing to achieve its goals.
Given the overview of existing operations systems and compared to the future improvements that can be made in the recommendation section of the paper, Riordan is very comfortable in the department's movement forward with enhanced success. The implementation of the recommended solutions will save the company money and promote efficiency. Riordan's executives will see this as a positive forward into the company's bright future.
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